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Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023

Empowering Lives

Celebrating National Rehabilitation Week and the Journey to Recovery

A landmark study developed by the World Health Organization in conjunction with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2019 revealed an estimation that one in three people in the world are living with a health condition that could benefit from rehabilitative services. Applying these statistics to the Shreveport-Bossier community (SBC), it is estimated that over 81,000 people are living with health conditions amenable to rehabilitation in the River Cities.

The goal of rehabilitation providers across the country is to promote healing and recovery to achieve a meaningful quality of life. Physical rehabilitation includes a wide range of services to assist with completing daily activities in the home, work and community. Interventions may include muscle strengthening, fall prevention, balance, speech, cognition, hearing aid fitting and recovery from painful conditions. A rehabilitation provider works with you to assess your physical and cognitive barriers in daily life and creates a plan to help overcome these barriers.

The benefit and success of rehabilitative professions in optimizing patient outcomes are evident in the growth these professions have seen over the last century. What started as a group of less than 300 women seeking to minimize the disabilities of injured soldiers in the wake of World War I has blossomed into hundreds of thousands of rehabilitation providers across multiple professions and disciplines seeking to restore function in individuals with disabilities across the country.

In honor of National Rehabilitation Awareness Week in September, the LSU Health Shreveport – Allied Health Clinics would like to highlight the benefits of rehabilitative services for the people of the SBC. Services available to the SBC within the Allied Health Clinics include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and hearing services, child clinical psychology services and applied behavioral analysis therapy. Providers within these clinics genuinely desire to improve patients’ well-being by providing education and restorative services to those presenting with musculoskeletal, neurologic, cognitive, communication, congenital and functional disorders, and issues related to chronic pain and pelvic health.

To communicate the heart and passion of rehabilitation providers within the Allied Health Clinics, we asked our providers to tell us why they love to serve the patients of the SBC.

- “The coolest thing about serving the patients of the SBC is getting to witness their confidence in returning to simple things they once thought they would never do. There is nothing more heartwarming and rewarding than getting to see the joy and accomplishment on a patient’s face because they were simply able to go the grocery store independently to buy groceries or shake a visitor’s hand at church.”

- Occupational Therapist

- “To be able to serve the community where you were raised is special! As a therapist serving the pediatric population in this area, it is gratifying knowing that early diagnosis and intervention enables children and their families to achieve their fullest potential.”

- Speech and Language Pathologist

- “One of the greatest joys of my life is helping people with neurologic dysfunction achieve their personal goals and return to their highest potential quality of life. It is an honor to serve the people of the SBC”

- Physical Therapist

- “It is my goal that each client’s level of independence is improved and every client gains education and empowerment to become better self-advocates for their health through the provision of rehab services.”

- Occupational Therapist

With a multidisciplinary approach, rehabilitation providers can evaluate and treat dysfunction across body systems to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In short, we seek to understand what makes each of our patients “go.” Whether it is being able to get up and down off the floor to enjoy playing with grandchildren or returning to a high level of performance as a professional athlete, rehabilitation providers seek to make their patients’ goals a reality. We are grateful to the rehabilitation providers across the SBC who are committed to transforming the lives of their patients so they can become the best possible versions of themselves.

Megan Flavin, PT, DPT, is an assistant professor of physical therapy at LSU Health Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions. Matthew Martin, PT, DPT, is a clinical instructor of physical therapy at LSU Health Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions.


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